Kwik Star on the way in Muscatine


Kwik Star on the way in Muscatine


Photo: The beginning of a new Kwik Star convenience store and gas station is under way at University Drive in Muscatine. The new store is expected to be finished by the end of the summer. Kwik Star is part of Kwik Trip, Inc.


Photo: Workers at the site of the new Kwik Star in Muscatine, off of University Drive,  do some work to the grounds Wednesday. The facility is expected to open late August. 



MUSCATINE — A new gas station is expected to open near the end of summer on the northeast side of Muscatine.

Construction crews recently broke ground at 3605 University Drive for a Kwik Star convenience store and gas station.

John McHugh, director of corporate communications at Kwik Trip Inc., said building the stores takes about 20 weeks to complete and anticipates the location to be open at the end of August. This will be the Wisconsin-based company's only location in the Muscatine area.

McHugh said the company, with headquarters in LaCrosse, also operates its own dairy and commissary to supply products to its stores. He said 80 percent of the food items sold in the store including bread, muffins, pizza, doughnuts and milk are made in LaCrosse and supplied to stores daily. The company has its own trucking service for deliveries. Locations also sell bananas, eggs and onions, he said, food customers may need in between trips to the grocery store.

"We tried to beat all the big box retailers on price," he said for those items.

The store will have a kitchen with a small made-to-order menu and case with hot foods ready-to-eat, offering quick meal options such as cheeseburgers and chicken sandwiches.

The store will hire a mix of 35 full-time and part-time positions including management, guest service co-workers, kitchen staff and food product demonstrators who provide product samples to customers. Applications may be completed online at Kwik Trip's website.

The company operates Kwik Trip, Kwik Star, Tobacco Outlet Plus and Tobacco Outlet Plus Grocery stores with more than 600 locations across Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota. The closest locations to Muscatine are in the Quad-Cities and Iowa City.

Earlier this month the Wisconsin State Journal reported the company's annual combined sales total more than $5 billion, and its massive food production facilities save on costs. Kwik Trip is on track to open 250 to 260 stores in the next five years due to convenience store acquisitions and $2.5 billion in capital investments, the newspaper reported.

In Iowa, McHugh said, the company is listed as one of the top 5 companies to work for and stores have little employee turnover. He said 40 percent of the pre-tax profits come back to employees through benefits.

The 1.25 acre lot was purchased by Kwik Trip Inc., a privately-owned family company, last November from Energy Investment LLC for $495,000.

McHugh said Muscatine was selected for store because "people are looking for good, healthy food product that's fresh, local and a good value price."